Photo of the Day for August 31, 2013

August 30, 2013 7:00 pm

Belarus in Faces (part LXXXVI).  Беларусь у тварах (частка LXXXVI).

Feast of the Ascension, Dzjerkaushchyna 2013.  Унебаўшэсьця, Дзеркаўшчына 2013 год.

Photos of the Day for August 30, 2013

August 29, 2013 7:00 pm

Belarus in Faces (part LXXXV).  Беларусь у тварах (частка LXXXV).

On an excursion through the hilly hinterlands of the central Belarusian town of Rakau, we spotted a sleigh leaning against a barn.  Entering the property to seek permission to take a photo, we came upon this good-humored family taking a well-deserved break after a day planting potatoes in the hot sun.

На вандроўкі паміж Ракавам і Рубяжэвічамі ўбачылі прыгожыя сані на двары.  Калі ўваходзілі каб папрасіць дазволу іх здымаць, знайшлі гэтую спрытную й вясёлую сям’ю на заслужаным перапынку пасьля пасадкі бульбы.

Virlavichy 2013.  Вірлавічы 2013 год.

Photo of the Day for August 29, 2013

August 28, 2013 7:00 pm

Orthodox Feast of the Dormition, church of the Dormition, Rubjel’ 2012.  Сьвяток Усьпеньня Прасьвятой Багародзіцы, царква Усьпеньня Прасьвятой Багародзіцы, Рубель 2012 год.

The flourishing village of Rubjel’, in the central Pripet area of Polesia, radiates its Christian faith in the most joyous, natural way.  Indeed, the village has produced scores of Orthodox priests now serving throughout Belarus and Russia and known for their command of the liturgy and their pastoral strength.

In the Orthodox liturgical calendar the feast of the Dormition falls on August 28.  Rubjel’, however, celebrates its Dormition feast on August 29, coinciding with the foundation date of its newer church and avoiding conflict with the August 28 celebration of the feast of the Dormition in the church of the Dormition in neighboring Al’pjen’.

Photo of the Day for August 28, 2013

August 27, 2013 7:00 pm

Belarus in Faces (part LXXXIV):  Borderlands.  Беларусь у тварах (частка LXXXIV): памежжа.

From 1921 to 1939 a section of the border between Belarusian lands incorporated into the Polish Republic and Belarusian lands ruled by the Soviets ran through the hills just east, and then south, of the central Belarusian city of Rakau, 25 miles west of Mjensk.  Today the former Polish borderlands in this area cradle tranquil villages with neatly-maintained wooden houses, well-tended orchards and garden plots, and old cobblestone streets.

Wandering through the back roads of this area, I came upon the village cemetery in Sidarautsy.  Mr. Aljaksandr (1935), taking a short break from his yard work in the cool morning air, was sitting quietly on a bench nearby.  We started to chat.  Noting with quiet sadness that his wife was buried in the cemetery, Mr. Aljakandr nevertheless radiated openness, good cheer, and a love of life.  I asked if I could take his portrait.  He agreed and then insisted that I accept a handful of fresh eggs.  When I went back a month later to give him a photo, his daughter and a neighbor, who were working in the yard, called him out from the barn.  He emerged as energetic and cheerful as ever.  A bow and heartfelt thanks to Mr. Aljaksandr.

Паклон спадару Аляксандру (1935) і шчырыя падзякі яму за цудоўную гутарку й за яго адкрытасьць і жыцьцярадаснасьць.

Sidarautsy 2013.  Сідараўцы 2013 год.

Photo of the Day for August 27, 2013

August 26, 2013 7:00 pm

Belarus in Faces (part LXXXIII). Беларусь у тварах (частка LXXXIII).

Feast of Holy Trinity, Azdamichy 2013.  Сьвяток Сьвятой Тройцы, Аздамічы 2013 год.

Photo of the Day for August 26, 2013

August 25, 2013 7:00 pm

Women of Polesia (part XLIV).  Паляшучкі (частка XLIV).

Three Polesian grannies in their Trinity Sunday best: Prosja (95), Nadzja (85+), and Katsjaryna (92).  Бабуля Прося (95), бабуля Надзя (85+) і бабуля Кацярына (92) у Тройцу.

Tsjerablichy, June 23, 2013.  Цераблічы, 23 чэрвеня 2013 года.

Photos of the Day for August 25, 2013

August 24, 2013 7:00 pm

Churches of Belarus (part XLI):  Orthodox Church of the Birth of the Mother of God, Pavits’tsje 2013.  Цэрквы Беларусі (частка XLI): царква Нараджэньня Божай Маці, Павіцьце 2013 год.

May 28, 2013 we were fortunate to travel on a architectural patrimony expedition to Zhabinka and Kobryn Districts with Anton Astapovich, chairman of the Belarusian Association for the Preservation of Historic and Cultural Monuments.  The itinerary include churches in southern Kobryn District.  In contrast to the slow pace and seemingly unchanging character of this limited-access border zone, the church in Pavits’tsje put on a splendid performance, changing its appearance every few seconds as the mid-afternoon sun darted out from, and then back behind, classic Belarusian spring clouds.

Photos of the Day for August 24, 2013

August 23, 2013 7:00 pm

Radaunitsa, May 14, 2013:  Azdamichy.  Радаўніца 2013 год: Аздамічы.

Radaunitsa is one of the principal rites to honor one’s forefathers in the Belarusian cycle of the year.  In Azdamichy, as in almost all other places in Belarus, Radaunitsa is celebrated on the Tuesday nine days after Orthodox Easter.

In the first photo parishioners at the cemetery chapel listen as Father Aljaksandr thrice reads through lists of  forefathers’ names.  In the second photo parishioners kiss the cross before heading out to have Father Aljaksandr bless their forefathers’ graves.

Photo of the Day for August 23, 2013

August 22, 2013 7:00 pm

Radaunitsa, May 14, 2013:  Azdamichy.  Радаўніца 2013 год: Аздамічы.

Radaunitsa is one of the principal rites to honor one’s forefathers in the Belarusian cycle of the year.  In most places Radaunitsa is celebrated on the Tuesday nine days after Orthodox Easter.  Many people attend a church or chapel service to have their forefathers’ names read out before the parish priest blesses their forefathers’ graves.

Photo of the Day for August 22, 2013

August 21, 2013 7:00 pm

Radaunitsa, May 14, 2013:  Azdamichy.  Радаўніца 2013 год: Аздамічы.

Radaunitsa is one of the principal rites to honor one’s forefathers in the Belarusian cycle of the year.  In most places Radaunitsa is celebrated on the Tuesday nine days after Orthodox Easter.  Many people attend a church or chapel service before having the parish priest bless their forefathers’ graves.  Here Father Aljaksandr thrice reads through and blesses the names of forefathers which parishioners have submitted.